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Food Rescue Volunteer Project in Portugal - Porto

Food Rescue Volunteer Project in Portugal - Porto

Help end hunger & food waste
Start dates
Programs start on the first and third Monday of every month
Choose from 1-12 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 5 hours a day
Volunteers aged 18+
Dormitory-style hostel
Program fees
From CA$999 for 1 week
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
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Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

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This program is ideal for:

Individuals with a strong advocacy for food sustainability issues such as, access to food and food waste management in local communities.

Project details

Do you believe that everyone should have food on the table? To have access to everyday necessities while maintaining a responsible waste system? If this sounds like you, then International Volunteer HQ’s Food Rescue project will be a perfect option for you to volunteer on.

Through this project, our goal is to combat hunger and reduce food waste in the local communities in Porto. This role is not just about food distribution; it’s a chance to assist communities, foster sustainability, and make a tangible difference in the lives of many. Join us in this fulfilling journey to create a hunger-free, waste-less world!

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

The Food Rescue project offers a remarkable opportunity to be an integral part of a dynamic community initiative dedicated to eradicating food waste and combating hunger.

As a volunteer, you will play a pivotal role in a widespread network that salvages high-quality, unused food from local restaurants and supermarkets. This recovered food is then thoughtfully redistributed to support various groups, including families, the elderly, and the homeless, who are in dire need of assistance.

Operating in the heart of Porto, the Food Rescue project makes a significant impact, providing nutritious meals to approximately 100 individuals daily.

As a volunteer, your responsibilities will be diverse and meaningful. They may include, but are not limited to:

  • Collecting food from local providers (supermarkets and restaurants)
  • Assisting with packaging of food
  • Sorting the food distribution by the beneficiaries’ specificities and profiles
  • Distribution of food
  • Sorting and storing food
  • Cleaning and organizing the center
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #2: Zero Hunger

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #2: Zero Hunger

Current estimates show that 8.9% of the population are hungry, with the global pandemic threatening to double that number. Swift action needs to be taken to provide food and humanitarian relief, whilst agriculture and food production must become more sustainable.

Why do Food Rescue volunteering in Porto with IVHQ?

When you volunteer in the Food Recue project in Porto, you will be adding value to the local community while, at the same time, developing personal and professional skills by:

  • Advocating for sustainable food waste management
  • Supporting the mandate and operations of local NGOs
  • Driving impactful change to address pressing sustainability issues in Portugal
  • Gaining community outreach and development experience
  • Immersing yourself in Portuguese culture
  • Enhancing your communication skills by interacting with various food suppliers and vendors

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers need to be 18 years or older to participate in this program. If you are under 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply for free

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

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Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit


Volunteer Abroad in Porto, Portugal with IVHQ


Experience the vibrant allure of Porto, Portugal’s eclectic gem!

This city is a tapestry of ancient charm and contemporary buzz. Wander through its serpentine, mural-adorned streets in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center, where every corner tells a story.

There is so much to do!

You can hop on a vintage tram to where the Douro River kisses the Atlantic, discover sun-soaked beaches and chic outdoor cafés, try the typical “Francesinha,” immerse yourself in Serralves, and go to the famous library in the city center!

As night falls, the city transforms into a lively playground with an array of trendy rooftop bars, cozy cafés, and electric clubs.

Beyond its lively streets, Porto is the gateway to Northern Portugal’s rich tapestry of culture and scenery. It’s not just a city, it’s an experience!

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each month, and volunteers need to arrive in Porto on the Sunday before program orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (Porto Airport) (OPO) in Porto on the Sunday before your program orientation. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Porto. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are traveling in Portugal prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up at a prearranged destination in Porto on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our Portugal team in Porto. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Porto – an introduction to Portugal and Porto, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, and an introduction to the project and placement, along with a tour of the local area. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.

A separate orientation dedicated to your placement will be held the following day. You will be shown how to travel to and from your placement, receive an introduction, and complete your volunteering hours.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day

You will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working alongside.


During the week, you will have a late afternoon or evening shift, which will last approximately 4 hours from 5:00PM. Note that start times and daily workload will depend on your specific placement.

A typical day on the Food Rescue project is as follows:

7.00 AM - 10.00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation
9.00 AM Free time to explore or rest. You are free to relax at the accommodation, go sightseeing, or head out for some shopping
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Lunch is served at a local restaurant near the volunteer accommodation
4.00 PM Travel to your placement via public transportation, which can take approximately 45 minutes, depending on traffic
5.00 PM Volunteering on your placement usually begins alongside placement staff and other volunteers until approximately 9:00 PM
9.00 PM Volunteering work on your placement usually ends. You are free to travel back to your accommodation
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Dinner is served at a local restaurant near the volunteer accommodation


Volunteers can travel and explore the eclectic city of Porto, Portugal. From visiting one of the oldest libraries in the world, catching a futebol match, or trying out a local francesinha, you can create an itinerary by yourself or with your fellow volunteers!

Volunteers staying in Portugal longer or who wish to travel before or after their program can visit areas further afield in Portugal, including Lisbon, the Azores, the Algarve, and many other places. With the advice and guidance of our expert local team, you can make travel arrangements once you arrive in Porto.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style hostel along the scenic Douro River in the heart of the city – the perfect retreat for volunteers in Porto. The accommodation is just a stone’s throw from the metro and a short walk from Porto Cathedral and Torre dos Clérigos.

Volunteers can immerse themselves in the lively neighborhood, teeming with supermarkets, quaint cafes, bustling bars, and all modes of public transportation. Expect cozy accommodations shared with up to eleven other people per room. The rooms are equipped with air conditioning, en suite showers and toilets, and bedding. Along with personal touches, like reading lights and power outlets at every bed and individual lockers to store your belongings securely.

The accommodation communal areas feature a fully equipped shared kitchen and lounge area, allowing you to relax and mingle with fellow volunteers.

WiFi is available at the volunteer accommodation and is free of charge. Please note that the the signal may be weaker in some areas of the accommodation. WiFi is also available at many cafes and restaurants in the area.


Volunteers are provided with breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.

Breakfast is served buffet style at the volunteer accommodation. The buffet includes cereals, yogurt, seasonal fruits, bread, butter, jam, coffee, milk, and tea.

Lunch and dinner are served in a nearby restaurant which prepares tasty Portuguese dishes with fresh local ingredients. The menu consists of local food, a mixture of meat, fish, and vegetable dishes.

Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and lactose-intolerant options are available upon request.


  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately CA$476) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week $690 Equivalent to $99/day
2 weeks $1,200 Equivalent to $86/day
3 weeks $1,710 Equivalent to $81/day
4 weeks $2,220 Equivalent to $79/day
5 weeks $2,730 Equivalent to $78/day
6 weeks $3,240 Equivalent to $77/day
8 weeks $4,260 Equivalent to $76/day
10 weeks $5,280 Equivalent to $75/day
12 weeks $6,300 Equivalent to $75/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately CA$476) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Porto generally find US$150 to be sufficient for weekly expenses, including transport and miscellaneous spending.
  • Any changes or cancellations within 14 days of your start date are subject to a US$200 late change/cancellation fee.
  • Meals
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Transport to and from your placement each day
  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Check what's required to visit Portugal

Safety and support

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Essential country information

Capital Porto
Population 214,349
Languages Portuguese
Currency Euro (EUR)
Time zone UTC+00:00

Weather and climate: Porto has generally moderate temperatures. The average annual high is around 20 °C (68 °F) and average low around 11 °C (52 °F). The climate is also only mildly seasonal, from a maxima of 14 °C (57 °F) in January to 25–26 °C (77–79 °F) in August, while minima is around 5–6 °C (41–43 °F) in January and 15–16 °C (59–61 °F) in July and August.

Apply to check if you're eligible!

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How to get started

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